The American Mayor
The Best & The Worst Big-City Leaders
By MELVIN G. HOLLI
The Pennsylvania State University Press Read the Review AMERICA'S BIG-CITY MAYORS The Experts Name the Best
and the Worst
The American mayoralty, though it is one of the important political executive offices in the nation (president of the United States and governor being the other two), has escaped the kind of ranking scholars have employed to evaluate our chief executive office, the American presidency. From some of those polls, we have a clear sense about who the great . presidents, as well as the worst, are. Our picture of the American presidents, and their reputations and rankings among the American historians and social scientists, come from two pioneering polls of experts that Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. conducted in 1948 and 1962, and from more-recent surveys, such as the one by Robert K. Murray and Tim Blessing in 1989 and the ones by Steve Neal in 1982 and 1995. The Neal survey focused on both the ten best and the ten worst presidents. We have no comparable surveys of the best and worst American mayors. Scholars know about the American mayoralty in discrete fragments from monographs, urban biographies, and articles on individual cities and studies of single cities and their mayors. Yet the pieces of the puzzle remain scattered and unassembled and do not add up to a big-picture rating of the American urban executive. Although individual opinions abound, no comprehensive synthesis or collective judgment is available. Efforts to create such a synthesis have probably been stymied by the size of the task (dozens of cities and hundreds of mayors, compared with only thirty-nine presidents at the time of the Murray-Blessing poll in 1982) and by the endless details on the separate histories of dozens of cities. These formidable obstacles have probably discouraged historians or political scientists from undertaking to assay mayoral histories, as Schlesinger et al. did the presidency. Unhelpful also is the relatively small number of textbooks on . urban history, which generally cover only a few dozen mayors for their reputations as either reformers or nefarious scoundrels. The result is that we have no clear sense of who among American big-city mayors are the Washingtons and Lincolns or the Hardings and Grants. In an effort to get a handle on the problem and to assemble a comparable information base, I and a co-investigator directed and edited The Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors , 1820-1980 (1981). We chose 1820 as the beginning point of the modern American mayoralty because it is a date agreed on by most scholars who have studied the evolution of the office. We confined the Dictionary to big-city mayors and defined the fifteen largest cities as those with the longest duration in the top-fifteen population class. We also factored in less-objective criteria, such as a city's historical importance as a regional capital. The historical big-fifteen were Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and St. Louis. More than one hundred scholarly experts wrote biographies on subjects of their expertise. Building on this base of expert-written biography, the new survey sought to determine who were the best and the worst big-city mayors among the 679 whose biographies appeared in the Dictionary . Recognizing that a few of the nation's most heralded urban reformers were from cities that fell below the big-fifteen in population, I then expanded the number of mayors available for ranking by lowering the population threshold to include mayors from cities of more than 200,000 population. In preparing the list of questions to send to the experts, I included as an aide-mémoire a list of fifty-three noteworthy and newsworthy mayors, a few from cities not in the top-fifteen-population class, such as Toledo and Jersey City. The survey consisted of two basic questions and asked the experts to name and rank the ten "best" mayors who had served since the inception of the modern office in 1820 and the ten "worst" historical mayors who had served since that time. The interpretation of "best" and "worst" was left to each respondent, who was free to use his or her own criteria in making those judgments. An earlier pre-test conducted with a small sample indicated that providing criteria for the respondents not only was space-consuming but also would not lead to a much different result. Other polls of this same type, such as Murray-Blessing, concluded similarly that an elaborate set of dimensions or criteria proved "relatively useless" in determining the greatness or lack thereof in American presidents. My pre-test agreed and found that the results were likely to be about the same, whether the polling instrument provided criteria or whether each respondent was asked to judge by his or her own criteria.
The survey was conducted over a five-month period from January to May 1993. Questionnaires were sent to 160 potential respondents drawn from writers for the Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors , from other biographers of mayors, and from urban historians and social scientists who had published work related to cities and mayors. All nonrespondents were sent a second questionnaire. Returned and usable responses were received from 69 (43 percent) of the survey pool, a response level that compared favorably with other polls of this type. The respondents as a group were well qualified by their credentials to undertake the task: fifty-nine came from university or college teaching; four came from academic administration; three came from publishing and journalism; and three from various other occupations, including freelance writing and consulting. History and the related social sciences were well represented: fifty-one experts were drawn from the field of . urban and political history, and eighteen were from the political and social sciences, which included a few archivists and urban consultants. The bias in favor of history was dictated by the nature of the two disciplines: the historians' expertise tended to range over the two centuries in which our mayors were in office, while political scientists tended to be very knowledgeable about the twentieth century, especially the latter half. As a group, thirty of our experts had published biographical entries in the Biographical Dictionary , fifty-nine had published articles related to the subject of the survey in journals and periodicals, and forty-eight respondent-experts had published one or more books related to some aspect of urban governance or history. It was reassuring to discover that only six respondents had not published on the subject of the survey but were, nonetheless, knowledgeable experts who had published in nontraditional ways, such as in the electronic media or in lecture forums. Our sixty-nine participating experts appeared to be well qualified as a group to undertake the mayor survey. They are listed with their academic and employment affiliations in Appendix I.
All-Time "Best" Mayors (1820-1993)
Who were the best mayors? Our experts picked leaders who spanned the entire 173-year period of the modern office of mayor (Table 1). The winners range from Boston's "Great Mayor," Josiah Quincy (1823-28), the quintessential WASP, to New York's ethnic Fiorello La Guardia. Selected first by the survey on the all-time best list is La Guardia (1934-45), a Republican fusionist reformer of New York City. A stouthearted fireplug of a man who built modern New York, La Guardia also fought "Murder Incorporated," read the comics to children over the air during a newspaper strike, and was a symbol of ethnic probity and honestyan antidote to the widespread public view that ethnic politicians and crooked politicians were one and the same and part of the problem of big cities. Known as the "Little Flower," he was judged by many contemporaries and later scholars to be "the most outstanding mayor in United States history." A significant number of our present-day experts agree: thirty-eight of the sixty-one who voted for La Guardia ranked Gotham's chief executive as number one. In second place, and several full mean ranks lower, is Cleveland's reform mayor Tom L. Johnson (1901-9), a millionaire traction magnate and steel mill owner who forsook business to fight for good city government and against what he called the "forces of Privilege." Although he is considerably below La Guardia in the "times ranked first" column in the frequency table, Table 1, Johnson ranks high in the number of respondents (46), thus putting him in second place. Johnson's fight for a modernized and humanized city administration, low utility and streetcar rates, just taxation, and home rule made him a favorite mayor of Progressive Era reformersand also, evidently, of our experts. Next and a mean rank below Johnson, in third place, is the mayor who helped bring about the "Pittsburgh Renaissance," David L. Lawrence (1946-59). The Democratic Party boss who reduced smoke pollution and rebuilt Downtown Pittsburgh was also later elected governor of Pennsylvania and was considered a mover and shaker in the Democratic convention circles that nominated John F. Kennedy for the presidency in 1960. Lawrence attracted the votes of thirty-four of our experts, and his mode of four approximates his mean rank of three. Detroit Mayor Hazen S. Pingree (1890-97) placed fourth in the historical "best" sweepstakes, two full ranks below his onetime antagonist and later admirer Tom L. Johnson. Pingree, who elicited votes from thirty-four respondent-experts, was one of the most important pre-Progressive reform mayors and made a national reputation for himself supporting a novel work-relief program for the poor and fighting for municipal ownership and for low utility and tax rates for the urban masses. Pingree, who was wealthy like Tom Johnson, also became a reformer later in life. In fifth place is Toledo's colorful Progressive Era mayor, Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones (1897-1904). A picturesque and eccentric millionaire manufacturer who railed against the very monopoly system (patent laws) that had made him wealthy, Jones sometimes took to standing on his head on streetcorners to make a point, and he preached Christian love and brotherhood to all who would listen. He instituted a "Golden Rule" in his factories, having to do with higher pay and more leisure time for workers to enjoy his Golden Rule Park while listening to his Golden Rule Band serenade the proletariat. In office, Jones tried to humanize the city's treatment of the poor and unemployed, took nightsticks away from the police, and frequently discharged criminals from the police court because he believed they were the products of a bad society. He also campaigned for municipal ownership of the utilities, public ownership of national trusts, fair pay for labor, and a better social order for all. And thus one of the most chronicled-by-the-press popular mayors of the fin-de-siécle period did not escape the notice of our experts, who ranked Jones fifth-best among all the mayors who ever held office. Sixth in the rankings is Chicago's six-term mayor, Richard J. Daley (1955-76), who set a record for the longest period in that office in his city and was the most powerful mayor in the Windy City's history. Probably the last boss of an effective big-city political machine in the land, Irish American Daley is credited with heading off downtown blight, encouraging an unprecedented building boom in the Chicago Loop while keeping the city solvent and the books balanced, and guiding his city through a turbulent decade, the 1960s. And, we might add, he survived that career-killing decade that ended so many promising upward-bound political careers. He was also soundly denounced by his contemporaries for ordering police to "shoot to kill" in the 1968 Westside Martin Luther King riots and for his crackdown on antiwar protesters at the Democratic National Convention the same year. Controversial in his lifetime, Daley remains controversial in death. Yet the experts rated him a solid sixth in the "best" mayors since 1820. Another Irish American mayor, Detroit's Frank Murphy (1930-33), secured seventh place, drawing one first-place vote and five second-place votes, and the affirmative votes of twenty of our respondents. Democratic Murphy helped to establish the . Conference of Mayors, was a New Dealer before there was a New Deal, lobbied for federal aid to cities, and tried to feed the hungry during the Great Depressionand balance the city's books. Mayor Murphy has become better known to urbanists since the publication of Sidney Fine's definitive biography, Frank Murphy: The Detroit Years (1975). Murphy deserves wider recognition, especially because his postmayoral career of upward movement is remarkable and striking for a mayor. After service in city hall, Murphy rose rapidly to become governor-general of the Philippines, then governor of Michigan, and next a . Attorney General. He ended his public career as a . Supreme Court justice. Few big-city mayors have experienced such dramatic and visible upward political mobility. Even for the best of them, the mayor's chair is generally a terminal officeas it would be for our next-ranked mayor, Daniel Hoan. Milwaukee's long-term socialist mayor Daniel W. Hoan (1916-40) was ranked eighth by our urban experts. Although this self-identified socialist had difficulty pushing progressive legislation through a nonpartisan city council, he experimented with the municipal marketing of food, backed city-built housing, and was a fervent but unsuccessful champion of municipal ownership of the street railways and the electric utility. His pragmatic "gas and water socialism" met with more success in improving public health and in providing public markets, city harbor improvements, and purging graft from Milwaukee politics. Perhaps Hoan's most important legacy was cleaning up the free-and-easy corruption that prevailed before he took office. Hoan's quarter-century in office made that change stick, and it seems to have elevated Milwaukee's politics a notch above that of other big cities in honesty, efficiency, and delivery of services. Although Milwaukee does not quite roll up the sidewalks at night, the city has for many years had the reputation of a well-run and orderly burg led by attentive burgermeisters. Never a doctrinaire Socialist, Hoan departed from the party's opposition to America's entry into World War I. Reelected six times, he was finally defeated in 1940, leaving a legacy of good government and delivery of services. Ranked ninth is the survey's most recent mayor, Los Angeles' Tom Bradley (1973-93). To rank ninth in a field of more than 700 "noteworthy and newsworthy" mayors is clearly a mark of distinction and more than a mere consolation prize. Elected five times by a predominantly white and Hispanic electorate, Bradley possessed diplomatic and conciliatory political skills that served him and his city well. When first elected, Bradley was almost sui generis among big-city black mayorsa calm and moderate voice of reason in an age of revolutionary rhetoric and red-hot Black Power politics. Yet even his deliberative style was not enough to calm the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which hastened the end of the Bradley era. Although receiving no "times ranked first" or "times ranked second" votes from our experts, Bradley did garner enough affirmative votes to secure ninth place statistically. Rounding out our top-ten "best" is the earliest and at the same time the first modern mayor ever to serve one of the nation's largest cities: Boston's Josiah Quincy I (1823-28). Known to his contemporaries and to urbanists ever since as the "Great Mayor," Quincy was judged by our experts to have a mean rank of , which places him tenth. Far ahead of his time, Quincy is credited with a long list of innovations, including strong executive leadership; an early version of city planning and renewal before the words were coined; improving sewage, sanitation, and pure water supplies; enforcement of the vice and gaming laws; separating the "worthy" from the "unworthy" poor, and juveniles from hardened criminals; expanding the market area and encouraging business developmentall in the brief span of six years. He went from city hall to a distinguished presidency of Harvard College, wrote histories, and in the 1850s engaged vigorously in debating such public issues as slavery. He died at the age of ninety-two.
The Worst Mayors (1820-1993)
In naming the ten all-time worst mayors (Table 2), it is conceivable that our sixty-nine respondent-experts, with ten choices each, might have cast 690 negative votes on 690 different mayors, with no one scoundrel emerging as first-worst. Mathematical probability and the outrageous records of some rascals who have sat in city halls would suggest that such a statistical nightmare was unlikely to happen. And it did not. Nonetheless, our experts did rank a total of eighty-two different mayors for failing grades in deciding on the ten worst. These eighty-two dishonorable mentions was larger than the number selected in any of the other poll questions, the runner-up being the ten-best question, which elicited the names of seventy-one different mayors. Our experts apparently found more sinners than saints in city hall. Taking the first-worst prize is Chicago's Mayor William H. "Big Bill" Thompson (1915-23, 1927-31), one of the most colorful if not most corrupt mayors in the city's history. Big Bill, who received campaign funds from such gangsters as Al Capone, won the sobriquet "Kaiser Bill" during World War I for his pro-German stand, and he earned more notoriety in the 1920s for his "America First" program, his campaign to censor school textbooks, and his threat to punch King George "in the snoot." Perhaps Big Bill's first-worst designation is a small price to pay for the $ million that may have been ill-gotten booty that turned up in his safe-deposit box after his death. The experts ranked Big Bill a solid and undisputed first place; he led the pack in the times-ranked-first column and also in the number of experts (forty-five) who put his leadership in the mayoral hall of shame. In second place is one of the twentieth century's most powerful and politically corrupt bosses, Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague (1917-47). Averse to physical labor, young Hague, after being expelled from school in sixth grade as a "bad boy," grew up as a street hoodlum in his grimy slum neighborhood. His early life was a far cry from the taxpayer-supported luxury he later enjoyed in two different summer and winter palatial homes and in a private suite in the Waldorf Astoria, which he used when not sailing on luxury liners to European vacations. The mean-spirited and profanity-spouting Hague was an urban tyrant who used strong-arm tactics and the police and the courts to physically and legally intimidate his opponents into submission while he boasted, "I am the law." The "King of Hanky Panky" ran his city and state of New Jersey for thirty years like a warlord over a fiefdom, and was so powerful that even President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was repulsed by this gritty grade-school dropout, was unable to rid the Democratic Party of him. In fact, the New Deal did just the oppositefeeding Jersey City gobs of life-giving work-relief money and patronage, with which the Hague machine ground out victories for FDR and more power for Hague. Although of Irish extraction, Hague had none of the sentimental attraction of Boston's outstanding scoundrel, Mayor J. Michael Curley. When Hague made a final appearance on "Frank Hague Day" at the opening-day ceremony of the Jersey City Giants baseball season in 1949, the stands erupted with catcalls and booing so loud that Hague's speech could not be heard. Our experts saw in Hague the same endearing qualities those Jersey City baseball fans did and voted Hague the second-worst mayor of all times. Slightly less offensive than Hague, and third on our list of unworthies, is New York's debonair dandy James J. Walker (1926-32), a former Tin Pan Alley songsmith and Tammany faithful who loved good times. Mayor Jimmy Walker, who presided over an orgy of corruption, was caught with his hand in the public till in a series of public hearings before New York's then-governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fearing a trial and a possible jail term, Mayor Jimmy resigned and fled to Europe with his showgirl mistress. Neither posterity nor our experts seem to find much redeeming value in Jimmy Walker's mayoralty, which they ranked an undisputed third-worst in history. A worst-list without Boston's "lovable scoundrel" Mayor J. Michael Curley (1914-17, 1922-25, 1930-33, 1946-49), also known as the "last-hurrah mayor," would be like corned beef without cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. Twice jailed, the unstoppable Curley made more political comebacks than a dying opera diva. A masterful and cynical exploiter of his own people's poverty, he inflamed the ethnocultural conflict of his city and turned Boston city politics into a three-ring circus for half a century. Although, as his biographer Jack Beatty shows, Curley grossly enriched himself at public expense and lived far beyond the means of an honest public servant, financial self-aggrandizement was not really what Curley was about. Curley lived for politics and loved coming in first, no matter which office or honor he ran for. He undoubtedly would have resented coming in fourth-worst in a ten-person field, had he lived to see this expert survey. Taking fifth-worst prize is Philadelphia's six-foot-two-inch, 250-pound "tough cop" mayor, Frank Rizzo (1972-80). The bête noir of white liberals, black radicals, and the city's news media establishment, Democrat Rizzo saw himself as cracking down on crime, holding the line on taxes, and being the champion of the "little people" and blue-collar workers who supported him. A politician to the very end, although then a Republican, Rizzo died with his boots on in the middle of a heated campaign for mayor in July 1991. His fifth place is secured by a modal rank of six, Rizzo having been ranked first-worst by two respondents and second-worst by four. In all, thirty-six gave Rizzo failing grades. Fully deserving of sixth place in our roll call of dishonor is New York City's Abraham Oakey Hall (1868-72), a clear villain in the nation's political history. Known as "Boss Tweed's mayor," Oakey Hall was a front man for the infamous Tweed Ring that fleeced the city of millions of dollars in ill-gotten booty and ran one of the most scandal-ridden and corrupt administrations in the nation's history. After the fall of the Tweed Ring in 1871, Mayor Hall was indicted and tried three times, but he escaped with acquittalsunlike Tweed, who died in jail. Hall drew the censure of twenty-four of our experts, seven of whom ranked him first among the worst; overall he was ranked sixth-worst. Next, and seventh, is Cleveland's Dennis Kucinich (1977-79). Only thirty-one years old when elected, Cleveland's "boy" mayor had failings that were not the sins of venality or graft for personal gain, but rather matters of style, temperament, and bad judgment in office. Kucinich earned seventh place the hard way: by his abrasive, intemperate, and confrontational populist political style, which led to a disorderly and chaotic administration. He barely survived a recall vote just ten months into office, then disappeared for five weeks, reportedly recuperating from an ulcer. When he got back into the political fray, his demagogic rhetoric and slash-and-burn political style got him into serious trouble when he stubbornly refused to compromise and led Cleveland into financial default in late 1978the first major city to default since the Great Depression. That led also to Kucinich's defeat and exit from executive office. Out of office, he dabbled in a Hollywoodesque spirit world and once believed he had met actress Shirley MacLaine in a previous life, seemingly confirming his critics' charges that he was a "nut-cake." After that, he experienced downward mobility, losing races for several other offices and finally ending up with a council seat; but more recently, he climbed back up to a seat in Congress. Bad judgment, demagoguery, and default also spelled political failure in the eyes of twenty-five of our experts, who ranked Dennis, whom the press called "the Menace," as seventh-worst. No hall-of-shame list would be complete without including the granddaddy of urban bosses and the prototype of the machine politician: New York City's Mayor Fernando Wood (1855-58, 1860-62). Ranked eighth in our survey, Wood was a Tammany Hall Democrat who had ties to the criminal underworld and dabbled in large-scale graft and vote fraud. His administration set the pattern for the institutionalized corruption that plagued nineteenth-century New York politics. Even the effort by Wood's biographer, Jerome Mushkat, to present a balanced account of the first well-known boss leaves little doubt that Wood was deeply flawed, enormously greedy and reckless, and a political opportunist with few peers in his time. Wood achieved little positive good as mayor and left the city with two indelible legacies: the desire for home rule and the "boss model for William Tweed." Our experts agreed. Although not marked in the first-worst column by any of our experts, Los Angeles Mayor Samuel W. Yorty (1961-73) may have earned his ninth rank because he was condemned by the . Civil Rights Commission for alleged insensitivity to minorities and "gross negligence" toward the largely African American Watts area, which presumably helped trigger one of the worst urban race riots of the decade in 1965. Riots can be costly to any politician's reputation and can be real career-killers, as they were in the cases of Detroit's Jerome Cavanagh and Cleveland's Carl Stokes, two promising political high-flyers who were grounded by grim and ugly urban riots. After the riot, Yorty barely squeezed in a mayoral reelection in 1969 via a runoff, but he was then politically grounded by a rising black star of politics, Tom Bradley, in 1973. Yorty's career was permanently damaged by the . Senate hearing in August 1966 when liberal senators Abraham Ribicoff and Robert F. Kennedy lambasted and pilloried Yorty for his failures in Watts. Nor did he do well with our experts, who tagged him as one of the lessers on the worst-list, at ninth place. Finishing tenth is the only woman on our historical worst list, Chicago's Mayor Jane Byrne (1979-83). Elected partly because of an unprecedented traffic-clogging snowstorm (which she blamed on the incumbent), she was defeated four years later in an emotionally supercharged "ugly racial election." While in office, Byrne ran one of the most entertaining and chaotic administrations in the city's history. Headstrong, sharp-tongued "Calamity Jane" (as the press tagged her) tangled endlessly with the media and her critics. Her husband and chief adviser, known as "Rasputin in a turtleneck," exacerbated relations with the press by threatening to "bloody" the noses of reporters who wrote unfavorably about Mayor Jane. He referred to coverage of the administration as "more skunk juice from the Chicago Tribune." Byrne soon ran her administration into the ground and was perceived as having politically betrayed those who elected her: reformers, blacks, some ethnics, and even women. She had made a stormy entry into power in 1979, and made an even stormier exit when she was defeated in the Democratic primary by Harold Washington, who would become Chicago's first African American mayor. Presiding over such a politically turbulent term earned Byrne a solid and undisputed tenth-worst-mayor award in big-city history.
Comparing the 1993 and 1985 Polls
A decade ago I conducted a survey with the same methodology, the same questions, and a similar battery of experts. I can now report here on how the findings of that 1985 poll (Tables 3 and 4) resemble or differ from our most recent survey, comparing the results on the ten-best and ten-worst questions. The 1993 ten-best questions yielded results that were almost a mirror reflection of the 1985 benchmark poll: the same nine mayors appeared on both lists, maintaining an identical rank-relationship. Only one new mayor appeared on our 1993 survey: Milwaukee's Daniel Hoan pushed Toledo's Brand Whitlock off the ten-best list. The only other change was the upward movement of a mayoral rank-climber, Pittsburgh's David Lawrence, who vaulted from eighth-best in 1985 to third place in the 1993 survey. The remaining eight retained the same rank-relationship to one another, with La Guardia and Johnson tying down first and second places respectively, and Josiah Quincy solidly anchored in tenth place on both surveys. That there was little change of mind by the experts over an eight-year period suggests that we can have confidence in the 1993 findings and in how the judgments of experts were crystallizing on America's ten-best mayors. This finding for our big-city mayors follows an analogous and well-documented pattern seen in the presidential polls conducted by Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr., Murray and Blessing, and Steve Neal, which show how rank-order has stabilized in evaluation of that group of political executives (. presidents) and that changes in subsequent polls are likely to be small, incremental, or due to adventitiousnesssuch as the appearance of new names eligible for ranking.
Chronologies of the Best
Looking more specifically at the historical periods that produced our "best" mayors, we see that none emerged from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, although one did come from the early antebellum period: a Federalist party member, Josiah Quincy I (1823-28). The nine others cluster into three periods that can be broadly characterized as periods of urban and national reform: the Populist-Progressive Era produced Pingree (1890-97), Jones (1897-1901), and Johnson (1901-9), while from the War and Depression Era came Hoan (1916-40), Frank Murphy (1930-33), and La Guardia (1934-45). The last three we categorize as contemporary mayors: Lawrence (1946-59), Daley (1955-76), and Bradley (1973-93), who were notable for competent governance, sound and savvy fiscal management, and steady stewardship; survived politically in perilous times; and steered their cities through industrial decline, urban unrest, and riots and racial-ethnic strife. None was a "Messiah Mayor," in Jon Teaford's use of that term, but all did earn a more mundane form of canonization in being listed as among the best all-time big-city mayors.
Distribution by City
The only city to land two mayors on the top-ten best was Detroit, with Pingree and Murphy, while Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Toledo got one mayor each. The wide distribution of population sizes, and the differences in the ages of the winner cities, suggests that neither the age of the city nor the size had any role in producing the ten-best mayors. Yet there was some regional grouping, for six of the ten best were from the Midwest and from cities clustered around the Great Lakes, where the tradition of municipal reform was very strong. Conversely, as we shall see, the worst-mayor category reversed that order, with six from the Northeast, only three from the Midwest, and one from the West.
By party affiliation, five of the ten best were Democrats, one was a Republican, two were independent Republicans, one was a Federalist, one was a Socialist, and all were multiple-term officeholders. They were a politically ambitious bunch as demonstrated by the fact that six ran for governor and three were successful: Pingree, Murphy, and Lawrence (Jones, Johnson, and Bradley lost gubernatorial races). Five also considered themselves reformers and were so labeled by their contemporaries and later by scholars: Pingree, Jones, Johnson, La Guardia, and Murphy. With regard to political machines, two ran traditional political organizations (Lawrence and Daley) and two directed "reform" political machines (Pingree and Johnson). Five were professional politicians in the sense that they made their livings out of politicsHoan, La Guardia, Murphy, Lawrence, and Daley. Three others were independently wealthy: Pingree owned a shoe factory; Jones drew royalties from a patent on oil-pumping machinery; and Tom Johnson was a steel mill owner, a traction magnate, and held the patent for a fare box. The independence that wealth gave them seemed to be reflected in their unconventional and maverick politics, their espousal of radial social and economic ideas, and their tax policies, in which all of them departed from party orthodoxy and outraged the "old guard" of their state parties. Only La Guardia among the professional politicians matches the political independence of our Midwestern trio in challenges to the conventional way of doing things.
The Ten Worst Mayors
The experts were in even greater agreement in picking the ten-worst mayors of all time. They named in the 1993 poll the same ten selected in the benchmark 1985 survey, although there was some slight juggling of rank order: Chicago's Prohibition Era "Big Bill" Thompson replaced Philadelphia's tough-cop mayor, Frank Rizzo, for first place among the rogue mayors. Rizzo dropped to fifth placeapparently his reputation for villainy on the issue of race and civil liberties in 1985 was diluted by the fumbling and disastrous record of his African American successor, Wilson Goode, whose inept handling of the MOVE crisis resulted in the fire, death, and destruction of an African cult group in his city. (Goode did not make our ten-worst list, but he did come in twelfth.) Other notable scoundrels were elevated in worst-rank by our experts. Jersey City's gritty "King of Hanky Panky," Frank Hague, shot up meteorically from tenth place in 1985 to second in our most recent survey, a brazen rank-jumper in both life and death. New York's let-the-good-times-roll mayor, Jimmy Walker, rose a notch in the low esteem of our experts, who pegged him third worst in 1993. Boston's irrepressible Curley was elevated from seventh to fourth, and Boss Tweed's mayor, Oakey Hall, rose from ninth to sixth place in the 1993 survey. The ignominy of four others diminished slightly as they slid to the lower ranks of disesteem in the 1993 survey. Cleveland's default mayor, Dennis Kucinich, slipped from fifth to seventh place; Fernando Wood, America's prototype of urban bossism, lost some tarnish as he glided from third to eight; Los Angeles' Sam Yorty sagged from sixth to ninth; and the Windy City's "Calamity" Jane Byrne almost slipped out of the mayoral gallery of flops with her pirouette from eighth place to tenth. New York City took the big prize by placing three unworthies in the rogues' gallery of mayorsWalker, Hall, and Wood. The city that was the subject of Mathias "Paddy" Bauler's infamous mantra, "Chicago ain't ready for reform," placed two on the sinners' bench (Thompson and Byrne). Boston, Cleveland, Jersey City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia had to settle for one each in the mayoral hall of shame.
This examination of the "worst" and the "best" is only the first step in a journey of discovery. We need to identify, rank, and map this Ultima Thule, this great unknown, before we can hope to understand where it leads. This initial effort at getting a handle on America's "best" and "worst" is not intended as a last word on the subject. In fact, it is actually the first word on the subject, since there is no other scholarly effort that I know of that ranks this, the third most important executive office in the nation (the American president and the state governor being the other two). Like Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr.'s pioneering expert polls ranking the American presidents in 1948 and 1962, this survey can be a benchmark for future measures of big-city mayors. The other goal of the study is to draw attention to the issue of leadership and stimulate active discussion on a subject that is now mostly in the intellectual domain of public administration and business colleges. (C) 1999 The Pennsylvania State University All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-271-01876-3
On 4 November, 1999, Ford voted in favor of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act ,  . This act repealed much of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 , which had been enacted to prevent any one organization from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company. The resulting repeal allowed many banks and insurance companies to gamble with money raised from savings and checking bank accounts or insurance policies. Several economists, notably Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz , point to the repeal of Glass–Steagall as helping to create the conditions of the 2007 financial crisis .  
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Around this time, William Giauque and Herrick L. Johnston at the University of California discovered the stable isotopes of oxygen . Isotopes were not well understood at the time; James Chadwick would not discover the neutron until 1932. Two systems were in use for classifying them, based on chemical and physical properties. The latter was determined using the mass spectrograph . Since it was known that the atomic weight of oxygen was almost exactly 16 times as heavy as hydrogen, Raymond Birge , and Donald Menzel hypothesized that hydrogen had more than one isotope as well. Based upon the difference between the results of the two methods, they predicted that only one hydrogen atom in 4,500 was of the heavy isotope.